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Fall is the perfect time to go sailing

Credit: Kidsday Illustration / Christie Trabold, Garden City

Are you thinking of fun activities for this fall? Try sailing. Most people would think sailing is only a summer activity, but it’s not. Sailing in spring or fall can sometimes be better than summer because there are fewer people out on the water.

Sailing may seem superoverwhelming. Especially all the parts of the boat like the rudder, daggerboard, tiller, tiller extension, sail, boom, sheet line, haul and cockpit. The most important parts you actually need to know are the rudder (it steers the boat), tiller (what you hold to steer the boat), sheet line (helps you pull the sail in) and the daggerboard (what helps the boat go straight and not drift).

There are lots of different kinds of boats to sail — Sunfish, Dusters, Lasers and Optis. Dusters and Lasers are hard to sail by yourself, but not impossible. Sailing an Opti or Sunfish is easier by yourself.

You can do more than just sail around, you can race against other boats. Of course, you need wind to sail. Sailing in too much wind can be hard, but sailing in not enough wind is stressful and annoying because the boat doesn’t move. So you want a good amount of wind or an amount of wind that you can handle. This is why fall is a perfect time to go sailing.

I first went sailing with my dad at around age 2. I didn’t actually take lessons or sail by myself until I was 9. At first, I thought sailing was really scary. At one point I cried because I was so scared — being 3 did not help — but now that I know how to sail, it’s really fun. So don’t let being scared stop you because it may seem scary at first. Sailing is relaxing and takes my mind off things I worry about.

I learned how to sail at Lake Naomi Club in Lake Naomi, Pennsylvania. However, there are many places on Long Island to take sailing lessons. Two places to take lessons are The WaterFront Center in Oyster Bay (thewaterfrontcenter.org) and Port Sailing School in Port Washington (portsailing.com).

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